Text: Jeremiah 29: 1, 4-7
Prone to worry and anxiety about my family and my work, about all there is for me to do as well as all that I’ve left undone, I tend to forget who I am and what I am. When I value myself – or believe that others value me – only for the work I do, I enslave myself. I become an exhausted and resentful human doing instead of a human being. I live in exile not only from myself, but from other human beings. Ironically, such exile is most frequent when I’m in the thick of people, human-made things, and lofty ideas. The solution to such spiritual exile, for me, is physical exile – a solitary return to the wilderness, or at least the wilderness of my own backyard – where I can hear my own breath, feel the leaf-filtered sunlight upon my face, taste the salt on my skin. In reconnecting with my body and the body of the earth, I find my welfare – the simple body self who, like the giant oak onto which I lean, is merely and magnificently an un-judged child of God.